Sonic Youth - Every Album Ranked

by Bob Coyne
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Sonic Youth were one of the most influential bands, if not THE most influential of the US alt-rock scene. From their early No Wave beginning, through the late 80s scene that paved the way for the likes of Nirvana and Pavement. Their 90s albums went from the sheer noise of Goo, the Butch Vig-produced Dirty, to the almost Post-Rock sound of Washing Machine. They released 16 studio albums during this time and if you're looking where to start, this list should help. I've not included their SYR series. The members are still releasing great music, which will maybe find its way onto another list... Click an album below to read a review

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Hmmm. I mean, everyone's entitled to their opinion

1. Sonic Nurse
2. Sister
3. Daydream Nation
4. Dirty
5. Washing Machine
6. Experimental Jet Set
7. Murray St
8. Goo
9. Rather Ripped
10. EVOL
11. Confusion is Sex
12. Thousand Leaves
13. The...

Hmmm. I mean, everyone's entitled to their opinion

1. Sonic Nurse
2. Sister
3. Daydream Nation
4. Dirty
5. Washing Machine
6. Experimental Jet Set
7. Murray St
8. Goo
9. Rather Ripped
10. EVOL
11. Confusion is Sex
12. Thousand Leaves
13. The Eternal
14. Bad Moon Rising
15. Ciccone Youth
16. NYC Ghosts

To me, Sonic Nurse is the perfect encapsulation of the SY sound and aesthetic. Kim and Thurston are equals parts, and while it doesn't explore their more aggressive tendencies (like on Confusion is Sex) it's a late career boom that captures everything about their 90s alternative spin, and 2000s psychedelia while keeping the experimentation still intact. I'd have been okay with it being their actual swan song, but there's good stuff on Rather Ripped and The Eternal that I think gets overlooked.

NYC Ghosts is at the bottom b/c its so hard to revisit. Its been unfairly judged, kind of like Metal Machine Music was back in the day, but that doesn't change the fact that when I want SY, it's the last album I'd reach for.

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Wow, Sonic Nurse number 1, that's a bold claim. You might be the only person with that opinion. I love them all, except maybe a Thousand Leaves

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my two sonic cents...

1. Goo
2. Sister
3. Dirty
4. EVOL
5. Murray St
6. Experimental
7. The Eternal
8. Washing Machine
9. Daydream Nation
10. Sonic Nurse
11. Bad Moon Rising
12. Rather Ripped
13. Thousand Leaves
14. The Whitey Album
15....

my two sonic cents...

1. Goo
2. Sister
3. Dirty
4. EVOL
5. Murray St
6. Experimental
7. The Eternal
8. Washing Machine
9. Daydream Nation
10. Sonic Nurse
11. Bad Moon Rising
12. Rather Ripped
13. Thousand Leaves
14. The Whitey Album
15. Confusion Is Sex
16. NYC

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